57 F. 293 (N.D.Ala. 1893), In re O'Neal

Citation:57 F. 293
Party Name:In re O'NEAL et al.
Case Date:June 19, 1893
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Page 293

57 F. 293 (N.D.Ala. 1893)

In re O'NEAL et al.

United States Circuit Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division.

June 19, 1893

         J. A. W. Smith, for L. E. Parsons.

         D. D. Shelby, for A. R. Nininger.

         Thos. R. Roulhac, for Emmett O'Neal.

         Loudon & Tillman, for J. V. Musgrove.

         BRUCE, District Judge, (orally.)

         The conclusion seems to be a clear one. The question has been argued, to some extent at least, as if it were whether, in cases like these, the appointment being for four years, the president of the United States has power, in vacation of the senate, to remove an officer before his four years have expired. That question is not before the court now. It could be made only in some formal proceedings, recognized by law as a mode in which such questions could be raised and decided. This is not such a case. It is not even a motion; nothing lika a quo warranto proceeding. This is the day to which the March term of this court was adjourned. Causes on the criminal docket are to be called for trial, and the judge of the court must recognize some one as entitled to speak for the United States, and some one to act as the executive officer of the court. Mr. O'Neal and Mr. Musgrove present commissions respectively as district attorney and marshal, signed by the president of the United States and the attorney general of the United States, and under the seal of the department of justice.

         Is any effect to be given to these commissions? And are they now, in this hearing, to be held void, on the ground, as it is claimed, that the condition of the law on the subject is such that the president of the United States has no power to make these appointments?

Page 294

Courts must proceed in an ordinary manner, and will not presume that the departments of the government will act otherwise than in accordance with their powers and duties. Acts of the lawmaking power of the government are presumed to be...

To continue reading